The Timeline Thus Far

April 2003: I arrive home from six months studying in Germany weighing 140 (and 5'4"). I decide it's time to lose weight and so cut waaay back on calories and start exercising almost daily. By August, I weigh in at 106, and so I do ease up on the exercise and restrictive eating (though apparently not enough).

August 2003: I realize I haven't had a period since March, and my mother makes me go to the ob/gyn to see what's going on before I return to college. Ob/gyn sends me on my way with provera, which she promises will bring on a period. After a few weeks and no response to the provera, she simply puts me on birth control pills and promises that the current lack of a period will have little bearing on my future ability to have children.

December 2, 2003: Pete and I officially start dating (a story which I promise to post sometime).

Summer 2004: I'm home from college for the summer and decide I don't want to stay on the pill if it's not necessary, so I try going off. But when I still don't get a period, dear ob/gyn tells me to get back on the pill and stay on it. I suspect that she simply doesn't believe me when I tell her I'm not having sex, but she insists the pill is doing good things for me. So I stay on it for the next five years.

August 2005: Pete proposes (is it bad that I can't remember the exact date?).

July 8, 2006: We get married and move to California.

June 23, 2009: I'm finally finished with grad school, so we're ready to think about babies. I take my last pill but we use condoms for a few weeks.

July 8, 2009: Our third anniversary, and the date we officially start "trying" (as in, no more condoms). How romantic. I fool myself into thinking my cycles will magically be back to normal.

July 23, 2009: I have avoided thinking about my lack of periods until now, when my period would be due after the pill. I know it's still too early to worry, but I start worrying anyway.

August 2009: After explaining my situation to my OB, she prescribes Provera. Although I've failed the Provera challenge before, I somehow fool myself into thinking I will respond this time. Fail. Freak out and start madly searching the internet. I visit my OB, and she confirms my suspicion that I have hypothalamic amenorrhea and refers me to an RE. I realize that we have no insurance coverage for anything infertility-related and ask my OB if she can go a few steps farther with me before we go to the RE. She talks to her RE friend and recommends I try Clomid.

September 2009: Having found Nico's blog and the Fertilethoughts HA message board, I realize (to my chagrin) that I need to buckle down and gain some weight. I quickly put on about 10 pounds within one week!

October 2009: We decide to wait until mid-November before trying Clomid.

November 2009: The week before I'm planning to start the Clomid regimen, I miraculously ovulate on my own! Shock and awe! Though my progesterone level is very low (5.5 at 5dpo), it confirms the ovulation. My period comes after a 9-day luteal phase. I'm thrilled to have my first period in so long.

December 2009: Natural ovulation number 2 on CD 33. I go on progesterone suppositories to lengthen my luteal phase and have high hopes that I might be pregnant. Which are dashed when my period shows at 18 dpo (three days after Christmas).

January 2010: Natural ovulation number 3 on CD 36, which is unfortunately 3 days after Pete has left for a two-week trip. My mid-luteal phase progesterone is only 4.8, so I decide to try Clomid next round to see if it will fix the luteal phase defect.

February 2010: I take 50mg Clomid on days 4-8, which does succeed in moving my ovulation date back to CD 23. However, my mid-luteal phase progesterone is still low--4.5 this time. My period shows at 15dpo.

March 2010: I receive a coupon for a nearby acupuncturist. After trying her out once and reading The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis, I decide to give Traditional Chinese Medicine a go for six months. I sign up for the six-month package at the acupuncture clinic and start going for weekly appointments and drinking delicious herbal decoctions twice a day.

After one irritating failed attempt at turning in his spermies for analysis, Pete successfully turns in his specimen. We get the results back, and everything looks beautiful on his end.

May-June 2010: A 70-day long cycle during which my body does nothing. Well, it goes a bit nuts, trying to figure itself out with the acupuncture and herbs. But no ovulation. Based on my acupuncturist's advice, I take a round of Provera, get a period, and get ready for another clomid cycle.

June 2010: Attempt #2 with clomid, 50mg. I ovulate somewhere around day 22. I'm not taking the progesterone suppositories this time, hoping the acupuncture and herbs have strengthened by "yang." But AF shows around 10-11dpo.

July 2010: Last try without progesterone supps, and clomid cycle #3. This time I ovulate on day 17, the earliest ever! I start bleeding at 9dpo and think the cycle's over. But when the bleeding stops, and take an HPT...and it's positive!!!